Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Jobs in Thailand

It is an indication that the job market is bad when one advertisement in JobsDB lands you overwhelming heaps of resumes. It is an indication that business is bad when friends in MNCs tell you they have a retrenchment exercise and a head count freeze. It is also an indication when the farang you know got retrenched and get stressed about how to go on in this Kingdom. The market is bad, everyone is cutting back. However, the only companies that are charging forth through are the energy and oil businesses. Five and a half month bonus, some of my friends got. Back to the topic of bad economy, a lady friend had a Korean boyfriend turned ex. He got retrenched and just disappears, with the one million Baht car signed under an installment plan in her name. She will go to court soon. Who said girls in Thailand with an expat relation are lucky? Wrong assumption, some expats can be bastards.

And still, Thailand remains an attractive environment to work in for her various charms. And still, would be expats are sending out hundreds of resume only to be left hanging in the dark without a reply. As I have been here a couple of years now, I have learned the best way to land a job would be through re-assignment/location from your home country’s company into this City of Angels. That’s when the lucky expats get big fat pay living like high-so kids from well off families. Ever wondered why our resumes never get read, ever wondered why we are always left hanging? Why does a great big European, American, Australian or what not MNC not hire your white, yellow or whatever skin of an expat?

The HR in such companies are Thai and Thai will know Thai pay. Maybe to impress their relocated expat boss they want by telling the big savings getting an equally qualified but bad English speaking Thai. Maybe it involves jealousy when looking at what expats expected to be paid and most likely will by their expat boss. And most likely, the entire HR team is so short sighted they don’t see the investment value in us. They think in a small box, narrow minded and uncreative. They are why we don’t get hired. Wrong, all wrong these stupid ways, for I had witnessed a daring Thai company invest in an expat and the sudden influx of foreign related business the company beneficially enjoyed. An expat also brings professionalism to one’s company and could also influence and change the “sabai-sabai” working attitude of Thais for the better. Expats are efficient, creative and energetic engines (just don’t hire a drunk). Expats can bring a whole new world and clouds of original ideas into an operation. HR, please think out of the box for the benefit of your companies, tune to an investment mind for Buddha’s sake. Expats wannabe, I understand you.


Anonymous said...

Maybe you want to balance your view out a bit.

As an expat living in Bangkok I know lots of other expats too. And many of them are NOT the way you describe them. They are incompetent, lazy and smug.

From the experience of working in several offices, I have to say I wouldn't prefer foreigners either (not to say I wouldn't consider them, but surely wouldn't prefer them).

A common scenario is that a foreigner is managing an office, and the only thing he brings to the table is his resume and his language skills. Then, they let the Thai stuff do all the work and take the credit. So, with all due respect, I think you're not really appreciating the work good Thai people are able of.

(Again, not to generalize here, but this is what I have witnessed repeatedly).

Jewie said...

I think you are referring to the drunk expats I am talking about. There are good and the bad. Just depends on who had been hired. But the general mindset of Thais not wanting a foreigner in their force by nature of reasons I’ve written is simply a wrong mindset. As for bosses directing and not doing any work by themselves but taking credits in the end, I despise them too, but I find these people to be Thai as well (repeatedly). I had the perception that all foreigners are more capable due to the circle of expats I know. Guess I am wrong in this case to assume in this way and thanks for highlighting there are black sheeps in the crowd.

I appreciate my Thai staffs and work with them closely technically on the ground level. They are very good with following instructions (if you can commune with them in their language). But as again, there are black sheeps in my crowd and most of them tend to sway to the sabai sabai non initiative side.

Anonymous said...

I agree with your balance perspective, there are always the good and the bad, but in general, most Thais and expat I worked with are excellent.

I am an expat working here, I enjoy working with Thais, although it is a challenge in the initial stage, but overtime we overcome obstacles.

For the dedicated expat, they do bring to the table excellent ideas, except that it had to be twitted to meet local condition.

All the above is excellent until we have Head of Department (A Thai) who will claim credits for successful results but usually stay in absence when problematic situation occured, for that I deplore.

That said, there are always Good and Bad.